Anthea Piszczuk has been creating for as long as her memory allows.
It was not unusual to find her alone, growing up on a large farm in the Murray Mallee with siblings who were considerably older.
At thirteen, Anthea and her parents moved to a property in the Barossa, during a severe drought, to preserve their livestock.
“Perhaps it’s this strong link to the country that first influenced my work,” Anthea considers. “I was drawn to the texture, colours and patterns in the environment.”
Being alone became a familiarity, and Anthea embraced it.
Though she will engage in workshops to learn a technique, medium or experience, she will shy away afterwards and use that which she has discovered to make it her own, not wanting to be too influenced by any tutor.
“This may be considered a detriment by some, but I do love to experiment within my own style,” Anthea explains.
In the late 1970’s, Anthea moved to the city where she completed advertising/graphics in a pre-computer era.
“Everything was hands on,” Anthea explains. “All layout, illustrations and printing overlays in the art studio of a printing establishment.”
During this time Anthea also designed and sewed clothes for a punk boutique to keep her creative juices alive.
The Barossa became home again when she had children, at which time her art-life developed into art classes for children in primary schools and independently.
Anthea learnt a lot from their uninhibited approach which she also believes is instrumental to how she works.
“And then it became me time,” she says.
Anthea’s portfolio grew from visual to functional and wearable; and her label ‘Anthea Louise’ was launched.
“I believe everyone deserves to own an original artwork,” became Anthea’s motto and every piece remains, indeed, exclusively produced by Anthea.
“Making something once is an absolute pleasure, repeating it holds no real joy for me,” Anthea concedes.
Anthea Louise began as fiber art in the form of scarves. This soon expanded into other wearables, wall art, lamps, and screens among other things.
Paintings became wearable in jewellery form and some home décor and then collage. In all instances each piece remains a ‘one only.’
The Anthea Louise products have found quite a following and are available in selected South Australian galleries, stores and online.
At home, Anthea dedicates two spaces for her art, a studio where she sews fibres and craft painted jewellery, and a large space beneath the house where painting and its ensuing chaos happens.
“Both spaces are terribly messy, with little order,” Anthea admits.
She often refers to them as the Laboratory or the Slab as she continually moves between different artworks, and ideas.
Anthea has used multiple mediums and substrates over her journey including cardboard, corrugated perspex, wood, sand, plaster, beach glass to name a few, and she is confident that she will play with more.
As a prolific painter with a home that is filled with completed pieces, Anthea encourages the public to contact her and visit for private viewings and purchasing.
Pre-pandemic, Anthea opened her home on weekends for SALA and was always surprised by the visitation. Ubertas winery generously displays a sample, as does Barossa Art Gallery and gifts in Angaston.
Makers Markets have been a staple for Anthea throughout this creative journey. She has even loaded the car and taken it to Tasmania for the annual craft fair in Delloraine.
“I do enjoy hearing first hand client critique and satisfaction,” she smiles.
Anthea has also been part of a few SA collectives where travellers local and worldwide have purchased mementos and gifts.
Fortunately, the pandemic worked in Anthea’s favour and allowed her intuitive style to blossom without external influence.
“I love to lay it loosely and work quickly,” she says. “My choice of colour palette is not realistic; I find personality is better described this way. This is particularly paramount in my portraiture of dogs and cats (the subject matter being readily available at home.)”
Anthea’s visual art displays an impressionist quality but she has recently moved into abstract layering with mixed media.
This means by using various mediums: collage, paint, ink, pastel in multiple layers she achieves depth and an interesting curiosity within her artwork.
“This takes time and is quite meditative, and different to my normal painting style,” Anthea explains.
In the future, Anthea hopes to find more stockists for her ‘Anthea Louise’ products and venues keen to exhibit her visual art. She may even return to facilitating workshops and private tuition as she was pre-pandemic.
“I know I will not be slowing in production because creating is like breathing for me,” Anthea explains. “My art is a reflection of me. I choose not to create for a particular audience or customer base. I create what motivates my imagination and heart. When someone purchases; it is the ultimate acknowledgement and fills me with joy because I know they recognise and feel something too for their own reasons.”